Isn't it annoying when you wake up and know you had a great dream the night before but can't remember it? You might have a friend who swears by the old trick of keeping a dream journal close by the bed, but not everyone has time in the morning to write everything down. Here's some good news for those of us who fall in that group: Remembering your dreams might be as easy as taking a supplement, according to new research.
The April 2018 study published in Perceptual and Motor Skills analyzed 100 participants taking high-dose vitamin B6 supplements before going to bed for five days in a row. These people were rarely able to recall their dreams prior to taking the supplement. However, they reported improvements at the end of the study. "Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people's ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo," said research author Denholm Aspy, PhD, in a press release.
The first study of its kind on a large, diverse group of people got some pretty exciting responses from its participants after they completed the study. One person said, "It seems as time went on my dreams were clearer and clearer and easier to remember. I also did not lose fragments as the day went on." Another responded, "My dreams were more real, I couldn't wait to go to bed and dream!"
Although remembering our dreams might sound like just a fun conversation starter to us, Dr. Aspy explained that being able to get better control of our dreams may pave the way for valuable health benefits for us during both our sleeping and waking hours.
"Lucid dreaming, where you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, has many potential benefits," said Aspy. "For example, it may be possible to use lucid dreaming for overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma. In order to have lucid dreams, it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis. This study suggests that vitamin B6 may be one way to help people have lucid dreams."
Aspy said more research is needed to see if vitamin B6 absorbed through food will have the same effect. It's worthwhile to note that vitamin B6 occurs naturally in fruits such as bananas and avocados, vegetables such as spinach and potatoes, whole-grain cereals, and many other foods.
That said, it's pretty thrilling to know our most memorable dreams could be just a few supplements away. With your health practitioner's OK, this might be a fun experiment to try the next time you're about to head off to dreamland. You know you're curious!
Next, learn 10 ways to get a better sleep by tonight in the video below: